Friday, February 04, 2005

Jamail: "Iraq's Oil for Guaranteed Political Power" 

Wondering what the resurrection of Ahmed Chalabi was all about? Wondering why anybody atall voted in iWaq? Wondering why the Sunni vote was suppressed and the Shia vote encouraged? And how does all of this fit with Iran? Dahr Jamail has the skinny, puts the pieces together, and now it all begins to make sense. Of course, this means that Bush is not deluded in the usual sense of the word, since presumably he knows what’s going on. It means that this is really about greed and evil. I quote it at length to save you the trouble of going elsewhere, but if you already read Dahr Jamail, skip on down:

Antonia Juhasz, a Foreign Policy in Focus scholar, authored a piece just before the “election” that sheds light on a topic that has lost attention amidst the recent fanfare concerning the polls in Iraq.


I think it’s worth including much of her story here, as it fits well with today’s topic of things most folks aren’t being told by the bringers of democracy to the heart of the Middle East.

On Dec. 22, 2004, Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi told a handful of reporters and industry insiders at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that Iraq wants to issue a new oil law that would open Iraq's national oil company to private foreign investment. As Mahdi explained: "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprise, certainly to oil companies."

In other words, Mahdi is proposing to privatize Iraq's oil and put it into American corporate hands.

According to the finance minister, foreigners would gain access both to "downstream" and "maybe even upstream" oil investment. This means foreigners can sell Iraqi oil and own it under the ground — the very thing for which many argue the U.S. went to war in the first place.

As Vice President Dick Cheney's Defense Policy Guidance report explained back in 1992, "Our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the [Middle East] region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil."

While few in the American media other than Emad Mckay of Inter Press Service reported on — or even attended — Mahdi’s press conference, the announcement was made with U.S. Undersecretary of State Alan Larson at Mahdi's side. It was intended to send a message — but to whom?

It turns out that Abdel Mahdi is running in the Jan. 30 elections on the ticket of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIR), the leading Shiite political party. While announcing the selling-off of the resource which provides 95 percent of all Iraqi revenue may not garner Mahdi many Iraqi votes, but it will unquestionably win him tremendous support from the U.S. government and U.S. corporations.

Mahdi's SCIR is far and away the front-runner in the upcoming elections, particularly as it becomes increasingly less possible for Sunnis to vote because the regions where they live are spiraling into deadly chaos. If Bush were to suggest to Iraq’s Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that elections should be called off, Mahdi and the SCIR's ultimate chances of victory will likely decline.

I’ll add that the list of political parties Mahdi’s SCIR belongs to, The United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), includes the Iraqi National Council, which is led by an old friend of the Bush Administration who provided the faulty information they needed to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, none other than Ahmed Chalabi.

It should also be noted that interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi also fed the Bush Administration cooked information used to justify the invasion, but he heads a different Shia list which will most likely be getting nearly as many votes as the UIA list.

And The UIA has the blessing of Iranian born revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Sistani issued a fatwa which instructed his huge number of followers to vote in the election, or they would risk going to hell.

Thus, one might argue that the Bush administration has made a deal with the SCIR: Iraq's oil for guaranteed political power. The Americans are able to put forward such a bargain because Bush still holds the strings in Iraq.Regardless of what happens in the elections, for at least the next year during which the newly elected National Assembly writes a constitution and Iraqis vote for a new government, the Bush administration is going to control the largest pot of money available in Iraq (the $24 billion in U.S. taxpayer money allocated for the reconstruction), the largest military and the rules governing Iraq's economy. Both the money and the rules will, in turn, be overseen by U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector generals who sit in every Iraqi ministry with five-year terms and sweeping authority over contracts and regulations. However, the one thing which the administration has not been unable to confer upon itself is guaranteed access to Iraqi oil — that is, until now.

Continue reading "What They’re Not Telling You About the “Election”"

It all begins to make sense, now. Watch “election” results for confirmation.

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